Our unions represent thousands of working men and women whose jobs often depend on investment in construction and maintenance in Florida’s Gulf Coast region. Based on projections made by Florida agencies and private sector industries, we are extremely concerned that the high cost of implementing these new regulations will lead directly to a reduction in new investment and construction jobs in our state. #

As previously reported by The Florida Independent, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (the agency that is, like its name suggests, tasked with protecting the environment from nutrients and pollutants) once supplied lawmakers with numbers written by these very industries, when asked how much the standards may cost Florida businesses. Internal emails revealed that those estimates were disputed within the department. #

The value of these safeguards is a no-brainer when weighed against the significant economic costs of pollution and of doing nothing. #

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Extravagant cost estimates for water quality standards written by industry, and disputed by state

Dozens of politicians, lobbyists and industry heads have written to both the EPA and Congress to argue against new water quality standards that would force many big utilities and agricultural companies to reduce the amount of waste they dump in Florida's waterbodies. Their argument? The rules would be far too costly to follow for industries in a state already grappling with record high unemployment. But according to internal Department of Environmental Protection emails obtained by The Florida Independent, the extravagant cost estimates regularly cited by Florida leaders were crafted by an industry-dominated organization, and were routinely disputed within the department.